Monday, January 24, 2005

Tom Wolfe Review

An excellent review of the new Tom Wolfe novel, I Am Charlotte Simmons, over at The American Mind this morning.


I Am Charlotte Simmons is Tom Wolfe delving into college life. You'd think a 74-year old man would not be able to portray such an environment with any accuracy. Somehow the old reporter pulled it off. Being almost eight years out of college I'll tell you that I Am Charlotte Simmons is pitch perfect. He got teenager's cadence and obsessive use of "like" and "totally" down pat. Males' need to constantly watch SportsCenter as well as their need to get drunk are also spot on.

This is one on my "read soon," list. Along with the new Michael Crichton novel.


Blogger Blahggraider said...

My Dear Doug,

You forgot to mention that the esteemed Mr. Wolfe recently won the British Prize for bad sex in fiction for passages in "I am Charlotte Simmons". He didn't show up to collect it being the only writer in ten years to pass up that opportunity.

"Slither slither slither slither went the tonque," one of Wolfe's winning sentences begins.
"But the hand, that was what she tried to concentrate on, the hand since it has the entire terrain of her torso to explore and not just the otorhinglaryngological caverns--oh God, it was not just at the border where the flesh of the breast joins the pectoral sheath of the chest--no, the hand was cupping her entire right--now!"
The British Judges described Wolfe's prose as "ghastley and boring."
Sounds like just the right thing to get your readers all hot and bothered..

10:43 PM  
Blogger Chad The Elder said...

I'm bringing Wolfe's latest on my trip to Miami later this week and State of Fear just arrived from Amazon yesterday. Looks like we're on the same reading cycle. Must be all the time we're spending at Keegan's.

2:02 PM  
Blogger Sisyphus said...

Don’t believe the critics who’ve panned “I Am Charlotte Simmons”. I’m a big fan of both Wolfe’s fiction and non-fiction, and I would say that this books is on par with “Bonfire of the Vanities” and “Man in Full” (so far at least, I’m only a little more than halfway through – I haven’t gotten to the award winning sex scenes yet).

So far, the most unrealistic thing I’ve come across is the professor (a Nobel laureate, no less) taking an active interest in the work of a freshman.

10:35 PM  
Blogger Honnistaibe said...

What a professor not taking an active interest in the work of a freshman(?).. Publish or perish the thought! Actually you are correct that a Nobel Laureate would probably not take an active interest in a freshman since it would be unlikely he would be doing any teaching at all and wouldn't come into contact with one unless she was working parttime for his department..

10:27 PM  

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